The Modern Southern Garden: Sunflowers


The Modern Southern Garden 

The Profile 


Sunflowers, also referred to as Helianthus Annuus, are a bold, cheery bloom that may range in color from orange & yellow to rich reds. It is a back of the border specimen that should be in every sunny cutting garden. Generally speaking, sunflowers prefer sandy, loamy soil & are wonderful for attracting butterflies & birds into spaces during the early fall months. They are known as heliotropic as the flower heads, many which can reach a foot in diameter, follow the suns movement throughout the day. This heat tolerant & disease resistant flower are just some of the benefits that make gardeners choose to grow them year after year. Sunflowers are available in many varieties including traditional colorations such as ‘Sonja’, which features bright orange petals with smaller, 4-inch blooms that rest on branches up to 2 feet, shoot off from sturdy, central stems that can reach close to 4 feet high. ‘Sonja’ is known as a long lasting cut flower that’s lovely for use in fall entertaining arrangements. More unusual specimens range from ‘Red Hedge’ with its impressive dark, rich blooms that measure up to 5-inches wide to ‘Strawberry Blonde’ that features a pale yet ombre effect of color. Learn how to create beautiful arrangements with these magnificent flowers.

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{helpful advice}

How To Create Beautiful Arrangements With Sunflowers

Lovely flower arrangements should change with the seasons so begin by choosing items currently in bloom. Savvy southerners know to have distinctive, indigenous garden varieties planted around their outdoor space that can be used for a number of occasions. These arrangements are designed to be effortless & fast to prepare since entertaining involves many fine details as the event draws closer. Sunflowers are a beautiful sun-loving plant that add vibrant color & texture to the garden. The blooms may be used to create simple arrangements perfect for entertaining.

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Once you are familiar with several plant varieties, making your own flower arrangements can be fun & fulfilling. If you don’t have these staples growing in your green space, plan to integrate the seeds into your upcoming spring planting list. In the meanwhile, look for a wide selection of blooms available from your local fresh market. Sunflowers may be featured by themselves or paired with many end-of-summer or fall plant clippings. Goldsturm Black-Eyed-Susans, New Gold Lantana or Gold Star Narrow Leaf Zinnia look stunning with a sunflower stem or two. For later gatherings, consider combinations that include Hypericum berries or St Johns Wort, a popular fall perennial which features bright burgundy to pale pink berries on stems with green leaves. Other varieties are available in white, green & orange. Goldenrod, also known as Solidago, is another classic seasonal yellow bloom with feathery texture. It is often mistaken for causing allergies however it simply cannot as it does not produce pollen-- insects actually pollinate them. Sunflowers may also be paired with seed pods, gourds, pumpkins & leaves.

The Tune
“Pennies From Heaven” Billie Holiday 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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